Italian Language & Literature


A. Purpose and Program Description

The Libraries seek to support research in both the linguistic and literary aspects of Italian language and literature, including the teaching of basic and advanced language skills, the history of the language, Romance philology, and a detailed study of major authors together with their literary masterpieces. It supports the needs of undergraduate, MA/MS and Ph.D. students, the teaching faculty, post-docs, and researchers.

During the first half of the 1990’s, there was a marked decline in the number of graduate students in the department and an expanding interest in Leopardi and women writers.

Areas of established specialization: Collecting in this field has been active since the early part of the 19th century, beginning with the addition at that time of most of the personal library of the great librettist, Lorenzo da Ponte. Of particular interest are the works and critical materials of Dante, Patrarch, Boccaccio, Machiavelli, Ariosto, Tasso, Alfieri, Foscolo, Manzoni, Montale, Leopardi, Pirandello and Ungaretti. The collection consists of approximately 17,000 volumes and is housed in the General Library, although that part formerly housed in the old Paterno Library has never been integrated into the General Library shelf list. Standard works of all classics are sought, both in Italian and, when available, in English as well. Critical materials are for the most part either in Italian or English, although critical materials in other major European languages are occasionally included if no translation into either Italian or English is available. In-depth coverage of the Italian language—its history, grammar, phonetics, morphology, syntax, lexicography and its philology—is maintained. Dialects and Italian literature appearing outside Italy itself are generally not collected, however.

B. General Selection Guidelines (see classed analysis for detailed statement)

Overall, the library's existing collection for Italian Language and Literature is at the research level. Current resources permit an acquisitions commitment for a study and teaching level collection. Based upon an analysis of needs we feel we should be building a study and teaching level collection.

C. Specific Delimitations

  1. Formats collected: We collect annuals, monographs, periodicals, reference tools and scholarly series extensively and CD-Roms and other electronic tools, newspapers, and dissertations selectively. Audio-visual materials, maps and textbooks are excluded.
  2. Imprint Dates Collected: We collect current publications extensively and earlier centuries selectively.
  3. Chronological Focus: We collect materials focusing on current and twentieth, nineteenth, and earlier century topics extensively.
  4. Languages Collected: We collect English and Italian extensively, and other Western European languages selectively.
  5. Place of Publication: We collect materials published in Italy, North America, and The United Kingdom extensively, other Western European Countries’ materials selectively.